At the point of listing, we will have a discussion about inspections while preparing the property for the market. Based on the age of the roof, furnace, central air, water heater and other appliances that are included in the sale, a home warranty may be enough to calm any fears a buyer may have. However, if there are things that are a concern, such as peeling paint on the trim, a roof that is close to needing replacement, or a 30+ year old furnace...more may need to be done as many loans will not allow these issues. By calling for estimates or completing repairs prior to listing, the homeowner is in complete control over the process. You can spend a little money to fix it now or accept a longer listing period or less money to compensate a buyer to make the repairs later.
In general, buyers are required to order and pay for their own inspections. The only exceptions to that rule are:
1. If the buying is purchasing the home with a VA loan (veterans and their families), the sellers are required to order and pay for the pest/termite inspection on the buyer's behalf.
2. If the property has a septic system, the seller is required to pay for the pumping and inspection of the septic system by the county prior to closing. The system must pass the inspection and is valid for two years.
Inspections are meant to discover major mechanical, safety, health and environmental issues that are not easily discovered at the time of the offer. For instance, if it is clear that the roof is 20+ years old and will likely need replacement, the buyer cannot ask for the seller to replace the roof after the inspection. This repair would need to be addresssed in the original offer. However, if the central air is not functionning correctly, this would not be known at the time of the offer and could be requested for repair.
Each property is unique and depending on the ability of the homeowner to make repairs themselves, this should be completed prior to listing and receiving an offer. Once the property is under contract, any repairs will need to be completed by a licensed contractor and could cost the seller more than if they had done it earlier. It is best to get estimates to know ahead of time what the cost might be so that there are no surprises.
The day of the inspection, the homeowner can be present to let the inspector in or the inspector can gain access through the lockbox. All utilities must be on, pets secured, attic access must be able to be entered, electrical box must also be accessible for the inspector to be able to complete the inspection. Since the buyer is ordering and paying for the inspection and report, most buyers will arrive at the end of the inspection for the review with the inspector. The homeowner should not be present for this meeting. If there are repairs requested by the buyer, the buyer's agent will supply the relevant pages for the repairs but the entire inspection report will usually not be sent for the seller's view.
For a free consultation about listing in your home this winter or spring, give me a call to set up an appointment today!